This sermon was based on Mark 8:1-21.
Jesus Feeds Four Thousand
The Pharisees Demand a Sign
The Leven of the Pharisees and Herod
Jesus is ‘Big Picture’
- Jesus is moved deep within his guts. It’s not feeling sorry, it’s a deep compassion for people who have been with him for 3 days. Some have travelled far, some look like they might faint. They are desperate to stay and not to miss out. They haven’t eaten.
- 5000 were in Israel – Jewish people. 4000 were gentiles. Again Jesus shows – he’s here for the whole world – his compassion/love is for all humanity.
- He wants his disciples to be ‘big picture’ as well – they will become just that.
The Disciples See Only What is in Front of Them
The disciples ask ‘how?’. There is a tension here. They have seen this before, Jesus’ amazing provision but they seem to have forgotten.
Jesus fed 5000 – walked on water – climbed into the boat – the disciples were astounded – but their hearts were hardened.
This is a key discipleship moment but the disciples don’t understand and so they retreat.
Jesus Stretches Their Vision
- It’s fascinating how Jesus takes charge here – when feeding the 5000 the disciples were more involved. This time its a picture of Jesus getting things done – regardless of the faith levels of disciples – he still takes their bread – he still multiplies beyond the bounds of logic. Mark is often described as a Gospel of action not theology, here there is a clear explanation of how God works through and in the universe – often in spite of his people. Yet he is desperate for us to fulfil the role he meant us for.
- Pharisees turn up to confront – this is not a fact finding mission – this is an attack. Contrast this to the Syrophoenician woman – she was a gentile – she was a woman – demonised daughter – total outsider – any other Jewish teacher would have thrown her out. She threw herself at Jesus feet – humility and belief. Pharisees come in a group, like an army going to defeat an enemy.
- This is a picture of unbelief – unbelief is different to doubt. Doubt approaches God with questions – genuinely searches for truth. Unbelief approaches God to attack, asks God why he doesn’t do what we want.
- Jesus is always working on us – to make us like him – to prepare us for the work he has for us. He does it in the simple moments – uses fish and bread – in the mundaneness of life. Jesus doesn’t magic up an extravagant feast – he provides the standard diet of Israel – fish and bread. In the normality of life – Jesus calls us to believe in him and trust him.